May 9 (GMM) A big topic of conversation in the Barcelona paddock on Thursday was James Allison.
Lotus' highly rated 45-year-old technical director is now on 'gardening leave' and also on the market, with the big rumour linking him with Ferrari.Allison worked at the Maranello team during the ultra-successful Michael Schumacher era, and also with Fernando Alonso during his Renault title years.Spaniard Alonso said on Thursday: "We would always welcome any extra help."We've seen the (competitiveness of the) Lotus car in the last three years and it's no secret that he is one of the top men here (in F1)."We will see what the future is for him," he added.Also being discussed on Thursday was whether Allison's departure will be the trigger for Kimi Raikkonen, who has been linked with Red Bull, to leave Lotus.The Finn was typically cool."For me, it doesn't really make a difference but I cannot tell if it makes a difference in one week or in one year, or maybe it doesn't make a difference, I really don't know," he said."Obviously you (want to) keep the people in the team but I think there is a lot of strong people and we should be fine."
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